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Nomadics Robot Software and Hardware Support

The XR4000 is the largest robot that Nomadics produced and so is particularly suited to carrying a robot arm (which no other commerically produced robot is really suited to). The XR4000 is also one of the most complex robots ever produced, containing 8 motors (two for each wheel), two (or three) Pentium CPUs, four big batteries, 5 embedded microcontrollers on an ARCNET bus and many optional sensors and even an optional robot arm and controller. Hence, one of the curses of owning an XR4000 is that it is unreliable.

This is one motivation for developing better software (and even hardware) to replace the Nomadics implementations.


There are three primary pieces of software for the XR4000:
The XRDEV Library
The NRobot Daemon
The xrm Kernel Module

The XRDEV library, the Nrobot daemon and the kernel module have been reverse-engineered (though, if you work for or are sponsored by the US government, or even just live near the USA, you might have legal issues with this process). These are available as a tar file from here.


Here are links to some hardware modifications that people have made:
  1. ANU Battery Balancing Circuit to keep the batteries evenly charged (otherwise some batteries get killed due to over/under-charging).
  2. New arcnet Cables
  3. ANU Recharging Station
  4. Instructions for getting at the recharging power supply. Also gives basic help for dis-assembly of the robot.

I'd like to put more descriptions of hardware modifications that people have made here. Anyone else want to contribute?

Thanks to Sourceforge for hosting this project:

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Questions? Comments? Write to the author
or post a notice at The DRobot Project's User Forums.
Copyright (C) 2001 by David Austin
All rights reserved except as otherwise marked.